First identification of dimethoxycinnamic acids in human plasma after coffee intake by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

Kornél Nagy, Karine Redeuil, Gary Williamson, Serge Rezzi, Fabiola Dionisi, Karin Longet, Frédéric Destaillats, Mathieu Renouf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


There is a substantial amount of published literature on the bioavailability of various coffee components including the most abundant metabolites, caffeic and ferulic acids. Surprisingly, to date, the appearance of dimethoxycinnamic acid derivatives in humans has not been reported despite the fact that methylated form of catechol-type polyphenols could help maintain, modify or even improve their biological activities. This study reports an LC-MS method for the detection of dimethoxycinnamic acid in human plasma after treatment with an esterase. Liquid chromatography, including the combination of methanol and acetonitrile as organic eluent, was optimized to resolve all interferences and enable reliable detection and identification of 3,4-dimethoxycinnamic and 3,4-dimethoxy-dihydrocinnamic acids. In addition to the good mass accuracy achieved (better than 5. ppm), tandem mass spectrometric and co-chromatography experiments further confirmed the identity of the compounds. The optimized method was applied to analyze samples obtained immediately, 1 and 10. h after coffee ingestion. The results show that in particular 3,4-dimethoxycinnamic acid appears in high abundance (∼380. nM at 60. min) in plasma upon coffee intake, indicating that it is important to consider these derivatives in future bioavailability and bioefficacy studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-497
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Coffee
  • High resolution
  • LC-MS
  • Methylation

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